Hui Aloha holds regular gatherings for people who want to build lives and communities rooted in Aloha – a sense of oneness with self, others, and the world around us. Events run about two hours and feature an inspiring speaker, performer, or storyteller; an activity to help us practice; and connecting with people over island food. Events are free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested. Sign up to receive notices here.
We hope people leave these gatherings with spirits nourished: inspired by the stories and lessons that come from living on islands together; ready to practice and apply Aloha in ways that improve our lives and our communities.
What is Aloha?
Aloha has no single translation, but one understanding was offered to us by Queen Lili‘uokalani after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy:
“I could not turn back the time for the political change, but there is still time to save our heritage. You must remember never to cease to act because you fear you may fail. The way to lose any earthly kingdom is to be inflexible, intolerant, and prejudicial. Another way is to be too flexible, tolerant of too many wrongs, and without judgment at all. It is a razor’s edge. It is the width of a blade of pili grass. To gain the kingdom of heaven is to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable – that is Aloha. All things in this world are two: in heaven there is but One.”
Another way to understand Aloha was given to us by Hawaii’s treasured kupuna, Auntie Pilahi Paki, who wrote,
“The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the Self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, Aloha, the following unhi laula loa (free translation) may be used:
A Akahai – meaning kindness (grace), to be expressed with tenderness;
L Lokahi – meaning unity (unbroken), to be expressed with harmony;
O ‘Olu‘olu – meaning agreeable (gentle), to be expressed with pleasantness;
H Ha‘aha‘a – meaning humility (empty), to be expressed with modesty;
A Ahonui – meaning patience (waiting for the moment), to be expressed with perseverance.
These are the traits of character that express the charm, warmth, and sincerity of Hawaii’s people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii. The world will turn to Hawaii as they search for world peace because Hawaii has the key…and that key is Aloha!”